Paul T. Hafner was born in Garrison, North Dakota to Theodore and Minnie Hafner, on September 9, 1926. He died March 8, 2019. He was one of 6 children: Verona, Inez, Paul, Lee, Glenn, and Naomi.
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He grew up on a farm 16 miles north of Beulah, ND. He received his elementary education in the rural community of Kronthal. After graduating from Beulah High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in November 1945. After his basic training in Texas, he received special training at Geiger Field at Spokane, Washington. Then he was sent overseas to the European theater, "Army of Occupation", and was assigned to the 850th Aviation Engineering Battalion. After a short time in the Wurzburg, Germany area, his unit was moved to the Wiesbaden Airbase. Here he helped rebuild the airbase facilities-lengthened runways and was an airbase supervisor in construction, along with serving as a German interpreter in his work. One of the highlights was being much involved with the Berlin Airlift - operating out of Wiesbaden Airbase.
After his honorable discharge in October 1948 he settled in Billings, Montana going to work for the Carter Oil Company, which later became Exxon-Mobil USA. Paul married Phyllis Fitzpatrick November 1950. To this union five children were born: Gregg, Janet, Julie, David and Joan. In February 1965 Phyllis died from severe health complications. On April 30, 1966, Paul married Sylvia Stebbins, who lovingly helped raise the children and made a happy home for them.
After his retirement in 1986 and having purchased a small farm in 1976 in the area of Silesia, MT, Paul and Sylvia moved to the farm in 1980. He fulfilled his love for nature, enjoying the quietness and solitude that owning and being a good steward of the land brings.
Paul was active in his church, serving in several areas throughout the years at Trinity Lutheran Church in Billings, MT. He tried to serve his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as best he could.
He was a member of American Legion Post #4 and a member of the Exxon Annuitant Club.
He is preceded in death by his brothers and sisters, grandson, Bart Hafner, and daughter, Julie Hafner. He leaves in passing his dear wife, Sylvia, and children and spouses; Gregg and Marcia Hafner, Janet and Ralph Gurney, David and Kim Hafner, and Joan Hafner. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Brian Hafner, Eric and Daniel Gurney, Andrew Pitsch, and Andrea, Nicole, and Danielle Hafner. He also leaves great granddaughter's Isabella Rose, Astraea Mae, and Avery Rae.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church.